Showing posts with label Cinema. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cinema. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Message From Mars

The brilliant efforts of film restoration experts yields a weird treasure--the first sci-fi film shot in Britain:

A Message from Mars (1913) is the first full-length science fiction feature in the history of British cinema. It stars the leading comedy actor of his day, Charles Hawtrey, as a selfish man who is taught a series of valuable lessons by a visiting Martian.
The stakes are high, for the Martian will only be permitted to return to his home planet if he is successful in his mission to instil a change of heart in his subject.

The film was based on a popular stage play which saw many revivals over 30 years in Britain. It features the first on-screen imaginings of Martians by a British film-maker, as futuristically clad members of the Martian court.

The film survived in the collection of the BFI National Archive as two shortened versions with significant imperfections in the third reel and a number of missing scenes.

You could shoot this today with only a minor change here and there and it would probably work just as well, so long as you injected an anti-hero with super powers into the mix.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wait for the Backlash

Will Marvel really make all of these films? I guess if they're in the planning stage and can target specific release dates, then it means that there is financing in place to make these films.

What I think will happen is that there will be a backlash against these kinds of films--a readjustment of some kind that will kill off the superhero films or at least cause them to be scaled back in a dramatic fashion.

They used to make a lot of Westerns in Hollywood, and then Sputnik happened, or so they say. There are no films for adults anymore, so what will happen if one or two of these superhero films tanks and goes down in flames next to a billion dollar hit made for a fraction of the cost?

Rest assured, I'm just trolling. Marvel's announcement proves one thing and one thing only--the teenaged boys of China will have films to watch for the next six years and these films will be made specifically for them and for no one else.

If there is a backlash, it will be short-lived because the foreign market for films is where the money is. And Hollywood chases money better than any other industry.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nobody Gets to Have an Opinion

Who is entitled to criticize Renee Zellweger for how she looks? There's absolutely nothing wrong with her appearance. Everything else is just hatin' and that's that.

That sort of thing is well outside of the scope of what I normally write about and comment on so I know that I don't have the right to issue an opinion. She can certainly be criticized by people who know fashion and makeup, hair and styling, and I think that this is where the distinction is for celebrity commentary. It's not a world I understand, so the people who do that, and don't do it for nastiness or whatever else can weigh in on seeing Zellweger in public and let you know what they think.

You can see, in this piece from The Daily Beast, a ready admission that imperfection is appreciated but rarely rewarded with actual acceptance in our culture. Yes, Zellweger put on weight to play a character. No, that didn't mean that there weren't media interests who were dignified about that fact.

I see a woman who has been absolutely done wrong by the culture and has modified herself surgically to the point where she doesn't look anything like how she used to look. Everything natural has been stripped away and what's left is very similar to what Nicole Kidman has and that is a taut face that doesn't move anymore. And that's the sad thing here--some invisible pull from the culture at large and some worthless standard of beauty has been applied to someone who, like all the rest of us, has aged and changed and should have moved on.

Something about the movie business has gone wrong for all the terrible reasons we're familiar with--there's no chance that Zellweger could work without doing something to modify her appearance and that's the reason behind the changes. I still don't think there should be a linkage to appearance and talent--if you don't put her in a movie solely because of how she looks, you're missing the best reason to have her there in the first place and that reason is obvious--she's capable of acting at a high level and holding a film together. She has a proven track record of success. She just doesn't look the same way anymore. But, who does? Grow up.

But, as I said, no man should ever criticize a woman for how she looks.